wheel nuts

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:01
ThreadID: 85665 Views:5224 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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I was catching up with an old mate who has just returned from a trip around oz and he was telling me about two incidents where wheel had come off .One was a F truck towing a van ,the wheel came off the car rolled and the driver was killed.The second was on a Coromal van, when the wheel came off the suspension was torn off and is in for repair the owner gets it back in September.My questions are can wheel nuts be over tightened ?And is it better to tighten with a tension wrench also would the vehicle wheel nuts and the van nuts be the same tension?
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Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:30

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:30
Hi carlj
I would put most of those accident were the wheel comes off down to human error, ie the person who changed the wheel has been in a hurry changing a flat or doing service work and forgotten to tighten the wheel nuts after lowering the jack.
Not me, but have known of it happening.

If you are worried about them tighten them up to the manufactures specs with a tension wrench. to get a feel of how tight they should be.
And check them occasionally or daily after or driving corrugated roads.

I only ever made one mistake
and that's when I thought I was wrong!

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AnswerID: 451446

Reply By: snoopyone - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:35

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:35
Most definitely and van wheels have different tension to car wheels and mag wheels are different to steel wheels

Thats what handbooks are for and yes a torque wrench is the way to go after reading what the handbook says.
I use a 12 volt wrench to spin the nuts up and then tighten them with the torque wrench.

You can snap a stud if its too tight. Old 1980's Telstars were famous for breaking studs as they had fine threads and could cross thread and jam easily.
Then you couldnt get them off.
Had it happened to me and to get the hub off to replace them it stuffed the bearing as well so was quite expensive.

No it wasnt me who did them up.

AnswerID: 451447

Reply By: Member - JohnBee (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:43

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 20:43

It is not unusual for wheel nuts, particularly on trailers (caravans) without suspension (shockers etc), to work loose over rough roads - eg corrugations.

It is always wise to torque nuts up ... and then to check them after 100km of travel - definitely if on rough roads - bitumen as well as dirt. This is definitely so after changing a wheel.

I always check my wheel nuts, and tyre pressures, at least every 2nd day if I am travelling. Just like checking the tug.

I have taught my billy lids every car/trailer needs POWER at least every week - check Petrol (fuel), Oil, Water, Elecrrics (lights), and Rubber (pressure and damage). Saves lots of hassles if you always know what everything is doing.

Yep ... I'm a pedantic fussy ole bugger.

Cheers and happy travelling
AnswerID: 451448

Reply By: Member - Royce- Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 21:02

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 21:02
had my teenage trainee tyre fitter change wheels for me on the cruiser before heading off on a trip. A few ks in realized that all was not well. Checked to find that he had put the nuts on back to front.

He had only been in training for a couple of weeks... but what a worry!

He learned a lesson that night and became a very conscientious fitter and now big machine operator.
AnswerID: 451454

Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 21:56

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 21:56
yes you most certainally can over tighten them, there are some components on some motors like head bolts that can safely be used only once as the strain of being tensioned up twice will lead to failure ..........
I always use oil on the threads and contact surface, metal to metal can bind when dry and appear to be tight but will not hold tension, you can not really expect to get a correct tension on any nuts if you do it dry as it will bind ...
Many do not agree with using any lubes at all but it works, is safer and never has failed me .. check a "workshop manual" .... for almost any nuts/bolts that require tensioning it mostly says to lightly oil and then tension up...
AnswerID: 451466

Follow Up By: V8 Troopie - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 23:25

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 23:25
Joe, IMO it would be wiser to use anti seize compound instead of oil on your wheel studs & nuts. I have done that for years now with no problems after a worrying episode about 15 years ago when a following motorist warned me that my boat trailer wheel was about to fall off.
I had used WD40 on the threads and the nuts worked loose. My mechanic friend told me that he knows of a few cases of that happening.
The wheel nuts rely on friction to remain tight, oil is an anti friction agent, is it not?
FollowupID: 724101

Follow Up By: Ray - Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 08:32

Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 08:32
In general mechanical engineering, lubricant on tensioned bolts should not be used as this gives a false reading and could lead to bolt failure due to over tightening
FollowupID: 724111

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:26

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:26
My Toyota owner's manual warns against lubricating wheel studs - to prevent overtightening them. Its something I've also done for years, but these days I am more careful with the torque wrench.
FollowupID: 724226

Reply By: snoopyone - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:04

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:04
Just dont have paint under them especially on duals.

We had 22 new rims delivered for the buses and the boss spent a couple of days scraping the paint off where the nuts would go on the rims.

Also had this pointed out to me years ago by an old truck mechanic.

Found out the hard way when I got my wheels rotated in Cairns a few years ago.
Had a Berlina with mags which fitted tight on the hub.

Next day getting down the road at 100kph could hear knocking coming from the rear.
Pulled over after a while and couldnt see anything but jacked it up anyway.
The fitter hadnt put one wheel on square and it had jammed on the hub.

Then it worked loose.
Lucky I stopped or maybe would ahve been serious problem when it fell off LOL.

Now I watch to see what they do or do it myself.

For the OP Coromal advise 120nm for the van wheels and I think Toyota Cruisers are 150NM
AnswerID: 451468

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:31

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:31
Gday Snoopy,
I've got the numbers on the wall in my shed:
Landcruiser 78/79/100 series (14mm stud): steel 209Nm (155 ft-lb); mags 131Nm (97 ft-lb)
Prado (12mm stud): 113Nm (84 ft/lb)
FollowupID: 724227

Follow Up By: landseka - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:31

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 10:31
One must not only clean the paint off "where the nuts go on the rim"!

On any new rim, in particular those white Sunrasia type rims it is vital to scrape all paint off the back of the rim where it contacts the hub.

What tends to happen if this is not done is the paint will crack and fall out leaving a 'space' where it was hence the studs lose tension.

Cheers Neil
FollowupID: 724256

Reply By: Fred G NSW - Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:15

Saturday, Apr 16, 2011 at 22:15
Many, many years ago, it was flogged into me, that the most important part of any vehicle was the "Nut" on the wheel :~)
AnswerID: 451473

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 21:13

Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 21:13
Fred!! What about the nut behind the wheel !!!! Michael

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FollowupID: 724207

Follow Up By: Fred G NSW - Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:24

Monday, Apr 18, 2011 at 08:24
G'day Michael......yep, that's the one :~)

Have a good Easter.
FollowupID: 724225

Reply By: WBS - Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 08:51

Sunday, Apr 17, 2011 at 08:51
In 2010 I broke a stud on my 80 Series Landcruiser by over tightening the wheel nuts on the factory fitted alloy rims I run with . At the time I was tightening them up to 100ft lbs. (135.5817948331888 Newton meters apparently). Upon replacing the broken stud and also replacing the rest, I decided to check the service manual to find they said 70 ft lbs(94.90725638323217NM). This hardly seemed tight enough for me but I complied. I then took to carrying my tension wrench with me and regularly checking the wheel nuts. Especially after travelling corrugated roads. They never budged once.

I next moved onto the the alloy rims of my caravan. I got some pretty stupid responses from the chassis maker and no response from other so called experts on how tight the wheel nuts should be on my caravan so after some advice from a caravanning forum where it was suggested I should tighten up to 65 ft lbs I did that.

I've now travelled about 20,000km with the caravan and I suppose I check the wheel nuts every two days or so when travelling. I've not noticed any loosening off of the wheel nuts but I got suspicious once or twice where I thought there may have been a couple of ft lbs of loosening.

AnswerID: 451500

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